Sins of the Fathers (14)

The mocking voice froze us in our tracks. Max’s grip on my arm tightened.

My heart stuttered, then began pounding. Nausea and vertigo set in, and if not for Max’s steadying hand, I may have collapsed.

As one, we slowly did an about-face.

Ira stood in the doorway to the house, a shoulder propped against the jam, arms crossed over his broad chest. He wore his straight hair long, halfway down his back, and parted in the middle. A small braid graced each temple. The dark mane outlined an arrogant, copper-hued face that looked as if it were chiseled in stone. Revealed in a faded and tattered denim vest, his upper body and arms were heavily muscled, tapering down to a flat stomach and narrow hips. Washed out blue jeans hugged his long legs, ending on the tops of dusty black boots.

My heart jumped into my throat, stuck there. All the old feelings came flooding back, undiminished by the passage of time. Love, passion, shame, guilt roiled around inside, joined by a new element: fear. Continue reading

Bad Romance

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I miss the old Lady Gaga. I want her back, strutting around with next-to-nothing on while she belts out a song with a driving beat that makes me want to get up and dance along with her. Singing “Cheek to Cheek” with Tony Bennett just doesn’t do it for me.

For a couple of years, while commuting to work, I would slide The Fame Monster in the CD player in my car, crank up the volume, and zip down the highway singing along with Gaga. By the time I arrived at my job about twenty minutes later, I’d be all psyched up, ready to take on the world.

My favorite song, the one I’d play over and over, was “Bad Romance”. Released in October 2009, it has sold over 12 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling singles of all time. I don’t know how often the video has been viewed on YouTube, but I’d bet my collection of Stephen King books that it has been more than 12 million.

I miss the old Gaga. I miss her badly.

Please settle back with me, and let’s watch the one and only Lady Gaga at her outrageous best.

Warning: the following video contains brief, partial-nudity and sexual content.

Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh-oh!

Caught in a bad romance

Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah-ah!
Roma-roma-mamaa!
Ga-ga-ooh-la-la!
Want your bad romance

Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah-ah!
Roma-roma-mamaa!
Ga-ga-ooh-la-la!
Want your bad romance

I want your ugly
I want your disease
I want your everything
As long as it’s free
I want your love
(Love-love-love I want your love)

I want your drama
The touch of your hand
I want your leather-studded kiss in the sand
I want your love
Love-love-love
I want your love
(Love-love-love I want your love)

You know that I want you
And you know that I need you
I want it bad, your bad romance

I want your love and
I want your revenge
You and me could write a bad romance
(Oh-oh-oh–oh-oooh!)
I want your love and
All your lovers’ revenge
You and me could write a bad romance

Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh-oh!
Caught in a bad romance
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh-oh!
Caught in a bad romance

Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah-ah!
Roma-roma-mamaa!
Ga-ga-ooh-la-la!
Want your bad romance

I want your horror
I want your design
‘Cause you’re a criminal
As long as your mine
I want your love
(Love-love-love I want your love-uuhh)

I want your psycho
Your vertigo stick
Want you in my rear window
Baby you’re sick
I want your love
Love-love-love
I want your love
(Love-love-love I want your love)

You know that I want you
(‘Cause I’m a free bitch baby!)
And you know that I need you
I want your bad, your bad romance

I want your love and
I want your revenge
You and me could write a bad romance
(Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh!)
I want your love and
All your love has revenge
You and me could write a bad romance

Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh-oh!
Caught in a bad romance
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh-oh!
Caught in a bad romance

Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah-ah!
Roma-roma-mamaa!
Ga-ga-ooh-la-la!
Want your bad romance

Walk, walk fashion baby
Work it
Move that bitch crazy

Walk, walk fashion baby
Work it
Move that bitch crazy

Walk, walk fashion baby
Work it
Move that bitch crazy

Walk, walk passion baby
Work it
I’m a freak bitch, baby

I want your love and
I want your revenge
I want your love
I don’t wanna be friends

Je veux ton amour
Et je veux ta revanche
Je veux ton amour
I don’t wanna be friends
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh!
I don’t wanna be friends
(Caught in a bad romance)
I don’t wanna be friends
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh!
Want your bad romance
(Caught in a bad romance)
Want your bad romance!

I want your love and
I want your revenge
You and me could write a bad romance
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh!
I want your love and
All your lovers’ revenge
You and me could write a bad romance

Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh-oh!
Want your bad romance
(Caught in a bad romance)
Want your bad romance

Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh-oh!
Want your bad romance
(Caught in a bad romance)

Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah-ah!
Roma-roma-mamaa!
Ga-ga-ooh-la-la!
Want your bad romance

The Last Dance

 

I stood out on the deck, staring up at the night sky into the bluish face of the end of the world.

Inside, my family and a large group of their friends drank and laughed and danced to old songs, some I remembered, some I didn’t. Upstairs, my two little brothers and the younger kids of the partiers’ slept—with a little help from Benadryl—blissfully unaware of the fact they would never wake up.

In the valley below, the town sparkled like the Fourth of July, now a month past. The sultry breeze carried the faint sounds of music and laughter up the steep hillside to my family’s summer home.

Was the whole world celebrating? Continue reading

Sins of the Fathers–Resolution (15)

Ira kept me close the remainder of the day. He made love to me twice more, being more gentle than he had been the first time, but still with a touch of desperation.

Watching my every movement, he permitted me to check on Max periodically throughout the afternoon and into the evening. Max remained unconscious, though when I gave him a quick examination he appeared to have no life-threatening injuries.

I wanted to untie him, but Ira wouldn’t allow it. The best I could do was slip a folded, moth-eaten blanket under his head for a pillow. Tears stung my eyes at the sight of his bruised and battered body. You don’t deserve any of this. I’m so sorry I got you into this nightmare.

Sorry didn’t quite cut it. Though Max hadn’t, I had known better than to come back here.

As for Ira, I both loved and feared him. There wasn’t a spark of goodness left in his soul—unless one counted his love for me, a love that walked hand in hand with obsession. He was a sociopath, a monster, and was a danger not only to Max and me but to anyone unlucky enough to cross his path. He had to be stopped.

Yet knowing what he was failed to destroy my love for him. He still took me to heart-stopping heights no man but him ever had. In each other’s arms, I wasn’t an insecure little girl and he an irrational killer; I wasn’t Mama’s light side and he her dark. Together we were better, we were a whole—though a fatally flawed one. Continue reading

Where The Wild Roses Grow

Murderballads

I had never heard of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds until a fellow blogger, Bee, (who is currently taking a blogging hiatus while working on her writing) recommended I listen  to “Where The Wild Roses Grow” a few months back after she had read my post, Blackbirds. Let me tell you people, it is, as we would say here in the South, quite a doozy.
A little background . . .
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds is an Alternative Rock band that formed in Melbourne, Australia in 1983. Gothic rock, punk rock, no wave, and blues played a heavy influence on their music.
In 1996, the band released the album, Murder Ballads. Nick Cave and Australian pop idol, Kylie Minogue, collaborated on “Where The Wild Roses Grow”, a song on that album. It became a hit in the UK and Australia, and that year won three awards from the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), including Song of the Year.
I’ll hush now so you can give a listen to this haunting tune/tale of murder.

Boogeyman Dreams

 

A murder of crows takes flight,
Cawing their insanity into the abyss of the night.
They wake the monster of madness; it rears its bristly head.
“Be not afraid,” gods whisper as you lie in your panicked bed.
“For I am here, I am with you, I am the light.”
Just a child, alone, you tremble in fright,
Too little to ward off things not heard nor seen–
Fragments of shredded emotions, slivers of boogeyman dreams.

Picking Flowers

I very seldom do a reblog, but this lady writes such amazing poetry, I wished to share it. I can’t praise her enough! Psst . . . there’s more wonderful stuff on her blog. Please visit and enjoy.

lifecameos

Tall trees shade
the garden’s back corner
where plants sprawl over the ground
in a rampant wilderness.
Violets spread prolifically
around gnarled tree roots
their clumps of leaves
speckled with tiny purple flowers.
Wandering Jew crawls
over tree roots
around violets and
clumps of long stemmed grass.
Bright green oxalis starred
with tiny mauve flowers
fills in the gaps.

The three year old is
enthralled by this
multi – hued carpet
dappled light and dark
by wind fluttering leaves;
enchanted by its flowers and
and tall grass seed stems.

She walks through it
picking flowers and seed stems,
followed by the black and white cat
who stares up at the branches
watching birds fly away
when his collar bell jingles.

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Gray Matter

file3951306369420Leroy knew he was dead, dead as a frickin’ sail-cat. Why, his busted up body lay right there with the whole top of his head caved in, blood and gray stuff smearing the trunk of a big old oak. No way a body could still be breathing after taking a hit like that.
But the peculiar thing was that he could see himself. And his black Thunderbird. She wasn’t the waxed and buffed beauty he’d slid in outside Dale’s Hideout; she now rested belly-up twixt him and the highway, as banged up as he was. His pride and joy. How long had it taken him and Betty to make her purr like a kitten and look as pretty as a shiny new dollar? Three years? Four?
If he’d had lips to do it with, Leroy would’ve smiled right then and there as he recalled the countless nights him and Betty had spent out in the old shed after they’d both gotten off work, him with his head under the hood and Betty handing him tools. Him telling her about the dumb shit the guys at work had done and laughing about it, and her smiling that funny little smile of hers. Continue reading

Copperhead Road

copperCopperhead Road was released in the late 1980s by Steve Earle, a singer/songwriter whose music didn’t fit into any defined genre at the time. He couldn’t be pegged as rock, nor country. He was a man who traveled to the beat of his own drum, and I followed right along behind, soaking up every piece of music he produced.

Not long after a string of hits, Steve was sentenced to prison, (I don’t remember what for, but am sure it was drug related.) and when he was released a few years later, his music was never the same again. I’m not saying his music morphed into something bad; just that I no longer enjoyed it.

Copperhead Road–according to the internet–is a real road in Tennessee, (known there as Copperhead Hollow Road) a place where moonshine was made, then a couple of generations later, returning Vietnam War vets grew marijuana.

It tells an interesting story. Won’t you please give it a listen?

(Lyrics follow the video.)

Copperhead Road (Steve Earle)

Well my name’s John Lee Pettimore
Same as my daddy and his daddy before
You hardly ever saw Grandaddy down here
He only came to town about twice a year
He’d buy a hundred pounds of yeast and some copper line
Everybody knew that he made moonshine
Now the revenue man wanted Grandaddy bad
He headed up the holler with everything he had
It’s before my time but I’ve been told
He never came back from Copperhead Road

Now Daddy ran the whiskey in a big block Dodge
Bought it at an auction at the Mason’s Lodge
Johnson County Sheriff painted on the side
Just shot a coat of primer then he looked inside
Well him and my uncle tore that engine down
I still remember that rumblin’ sound
Well the sheriff came around in the middle of the night
Heard mama cryin’, knew something wasn’t right
He was headed down to Knoxville with the weekly load
You could smell the whiskey burnin’ down Copperhead Road

I volunteered for the Army on my birthday
They draft the white trash first,’round here anyway
I done two tours of duty in Vietnam
And I came home with a brand new plan
I take the seed from Colombia and Mexico
I plant it up the holler down Copperhead Road
Well the D.E.A.’s got a chopper in the air
I wake up screaming like I’m back over there
I learned a thing or two from ol’ Charlie don’t you know
You better stay away from Copperhead Road

Copperhead Road
Copperhead Road
Copperhead Road

Far From Any Road

While browsing YouTube a week or so ago, I ran across a category of music labeled: “Southern Gothic”. I looked around a bit, and a duet named The Handsome Family stood out like the proverbial sore thumb. It was the name. Who or what in the world would call themselves The Handsome Family?
I picked out a song called “Far From Any Road”, from the album, Singing Bones, for my first listen. I was entranced, to say the least.
After doing a little research later on, I learned the song was used as the theme song for the first season of True Detective, which I believe airs on HBO.
I was so smitten with the song (and others by The Handsome Family) I wanted to share it with the world.
In places, the words are hard to understand, so I have included the lyrics under the YouTube link.
I hope you’ll listen, and I’m betting a lot of y’all will enjoy this haunting piece.

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